Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 22/11/15

On Sunday I took my weekly stroll around my local patch, Kings Norton Nature Reserve. This time I was not alone - my parents were visiting for the day and we'd planned to go for a walk in the afternoon. I was excited to show them the reserve and also to see if the cold weather (finally!) might bring us any new exciting birds. We weren't disappointed!

I saw 34 species in total, of which two were new ones for me at this site, taking my total after six visits to 46 species. One of the new ones I saw today I hadn't anticipated at all previously and it had me very excited indeed, so here are my highlights:
  • Just after we entered the Wychall Lane entrance heading towards Merecroft Pool, two Mistle Thrushes flew over and landed in trees on the other side of the road. Another new species for my patch list.
  • After this we continued towards Merecroft Pool, and stopped in the open area after crossing the stream. I have found this area productive on previous visits as it's surrounded at its edges by large bushes and trees, which frequently host various tits, finches and other goodies. I was searching these out when I spotted flying overhead a very distinctive shape indeed, almost certainly brought to the area by the colder temperatures. It was a Woodcock! Not only was this a new species for my patch list, it was also a year tick - I very seldom get to see Woodcocks so this sighting pretty much made my day :o) It was flying west, which is the general direction of Wychall Reservoir and its surroundings - lots of lovely potential wintering Woodcock habitat. I wonder if I will see it again?
  • I had my highest count of Teal so far on Wychall Reservoir - 18 this time.
  • Still haven't seen any Siskin actually on the reserve yet despite the numerous tasty Alder cones awaiting them, but I had another single bird fly over near the Popes Lane entrance to the Rea Valley route.
  • I heard a Water Rail calling near Wychall Reservoir - not the squealing call but a more Coot-like persistent squeaky call which I've only recently learned. I've probably overlooked it a few times in the past as a Coot's call!
Pretty much all the Rowan berries have gone from the pathside leading down to Wychall Lane from the Rea Valley route. There were a lot of Blackbirds around in this area, perhaps some newly-arrived from continental Europe - I blame them for finishing off the berries, so much for my hopes of enticing some Waxwings in! At the stepping stones (well, stepping concrete blocks), which seem to have become the place where I assess the water level in the River Rea, I noticed that the flow had slackened somewhat since my last visit, but that it had been sufficient at some point to scour out the edge of the bank, leaving a small chasm between the bank and the concrete base of the blocks going into the water. On Merecroft Pool once again there was no sign of the Goosanders - maybe I've seen the last of them for now. I enjoyed some further HDR tinkerings, as well as photographing an unknown fungus near Merecroft Pool:

Stream near Merecroft Pool (HDR).

The paddocks (HDR).

West end of the reserve (HDR).

West end of the reserve (HDR).

West end of the reserve (HDR).
Mystery fungus growing on bark chips.
We had a lovely walk round in the crisp cold weather and my mum and dad were suitably impressed by Kings Norton Nature Reserve. We continued our day of fun by heading to Cherry Reds for dinner before going to see the marvellous Lau at the the Glee Club. Good times! :o)


Blackbird Great Tit Mute Swan
Black-headed Gull Grey Wagtail Nuthatch
Blue Tit Herring Gull Redwing
Bullfinch Jackdaw Robin
Buzzard Jay Siskin
Carrion Crow Lesser Black-backed Gull Teal
Chaffinch Long-tailed Tit Tufted Duck
Coot Magpie Water Rail
Dunnock Mallard Woodcock
Goldcrest Mistle Thrush Woodpigeon
Goldfinch Moorhen Wren
Great Spotted Woodpecker

No comments:

Post a Comment